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  log entries by harry kollatz

  13/07/2003
Watching A Mutationesque Play At The Firehouse

On the afternoon of July 12 I joined about a dozen people at the Firehouse to see a workshop performance of a short work creatred by Jennifer Jones Hundley, a Firehouse boardmember, and a group of actors.
What I didn't know when I saw the play--about 12 minutes in length--was that it had been rehearsed and presented in 24 hours. The five actors, two women and three men, were simply given a year, 1957, and a location, a restaurant in the South Beach section of the city of Miami, Florida. There was no text but movement and gesture.
The actors were given this situation Saturday morning and they began working movement, building characters. This is out of the teaching of Ann Bogart. The City Company in New York City is creating a full-length play this way, called "Systems and Layers."
They went home to write biographies of their characters but they didn't even share them. Sunday morning they began rehearsing their characters, with movement, and a piece of jazz music by a regional group here called The Switch, which had a kind of Latin beat. The plot was simple, but what the actors did with it amazingly complicated and wonderful to watch. A black man comes into a Southern restaurant in Miami run by a pre-Castro Cuban immigrant. The waitress and the waiter are flirting with each other, a woman comes into the restaurant, is propistioned by the black man and she sends away, the owner of the restaurant enters(we don't know at the time that he is the owner) and he and the young woman see each other, there is uncomfortable recognition, he approaches her, and they begin this dance of attempted reunion/seduction. The black man tries to break into the dance, and is told he cannot by the waiter. The woman realizes this whole situation is painful and wrong; the owner goes, the woman hesitantly leaves afterward, the black man finally goes and the waiter and waitress close up the restaurant, dance together lovingly and exit.
These were good actors, committed to the process and they obviously enjoyed the work method. For such a short time of rehearsing--this was just the seventh time they'd run the show-- I was impressed by the crisp clarity of movement and the revelation of character. Ann Bogart teaches this method for Classic theater and contemporary, too.
The Artistic Director and I were impressed enough that we'd like to see more shows done this way at the Firehouse.
Sounds to me this is something in the Mutation style--I'd be interested to hear if I'm sort of correct, or even sort of wrong.--HEK
by harry kollatz, richmond
 

  06/07/2003
The Global Reality Arrives In My Mailbox
Mutationists:


During the July 4th weekend the global reality of Mutation arrived in my mailbox on Colonial Avenue with the delivery of a thick cache of postcards. Scanning the Workspace and diary entries, and reading the journalism pertaining to Mutation in the Nigerian Vanguard, and the rehearsal process underway in Berlin, I'm feeling the electric whir of activity. We are launched. Even Ms. Dentzminger. by harry kollatz, richmond
 

  19/04/2003
Firehouse Mutation Page

Greetings, Mutationists:

I am quite laggard in informing you of this development, but the Firehouse Theatre Project now has a page informing the public about Mutation in Richmond, in addition to the logo and a brief explanation on its opening site page.
Hope it generates interest as time approaches for the event here.--HEK by harry kollatz, richmond
http://Firehousetheatre.org/mutation.htm
 

  03/03/2003
Mutation Comes Together In My Livingroom
I think this qualifies as a diary article. I hope.
On Saturday morning around 11:00 a.m. the princible players of Mutation Project: Richmond gathered in one place for the first time in the livingroom of Amie and I. Amie was teaching a class but I witnessed the meeting. I realized I had no camera to record it though Dirk, with his stills and video, was compiling the words and expressions of the group, but me, the sentimental, history-minded Richmonder, realized that my regular, analog 35 mm SLR was without film and useless to me for recording the beginning of this phase of the undertaking.
We'll have other meetings here (and the Firehouse) but this was the first one here where they got the news they were the core group of performers.
On Friday prior, at the end of an exhausting week, I also participated in an audition at the Firehouse. Between realizing the upstairs bathroom had a sprung a leak and that the heaters weren't properly working, I managed to get something of a scattered brains into the topics Dirk selected: story telling, assigning words, movement and song to letters of the alphabet, "a" through "o" and our alternative lives in another country. I frankly thought my contributions were lousy and ill-considered and I just chalk it up to fatigue. This experimental theatre business is a young person's game. by harry kollatz, richmond
 

  23/02/2003
Articles Wouldn't Transfer

Isaac:

I tried highlighting, copying and transferring the offending diary entries to the articles page and for some reason on this computer they ended up as two-columned botches of mismatched verbiage (maybe the originals weren't much better). Maybe they were scared of leaving. Maybe my technology is faulty. I can either try this on another computer or, if you can live with those two articles in the present postion, I will confine my pontifications to the articles section and not the diary. ==HEK by harry kollatz, richmond
 

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